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The Sabbath
The Sign Of The Everlasting Covenant

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What Is The Sabbath?
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The Sabbath is the day of rest made by God on the seventh day of the week, beginning from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. It was created and named at creation as a day of rest and celebration of the creation for all humans. On Mount Sinai, God told Israel to remember this holy day when He placed it in the Ten Commandments.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant, your cattle or your visitor who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the Heavens and the Earth and the Sea and all that is in them and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20: 8-11).

The Everlasting Covenant
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their minds and write it on the hearts. And I will be their God and they shall be My people". (Hebrews 8: 10)
The new covenant was still made with the house of Israel, not the Gentiles or Christians. There is evidence for the meaning and origin of the covenant in the Bible.

  1. When Jesus returns He will have His name written in two places. It was written on His robe and thigh.
    And on his robe and on his thigh He has a name written, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords". (Revelation 19: 16)
    1. Thigh. Why on His thigh? He was making an unbreakable promise.
      According to Genesis 47: 29 putting their hand under the thigh was part of making a covenant.
    2. Robe. Why on the Robe? The promise was to cover us.
      1. The robe is the righteousness garment of salvation that covers the saints. (Isaiah 61: 10)
      2. As a sign of the promise that He would cover our sins. Hebrews 10: 16-17
  2. What is the Covenant that God makes with Man?
    1. What is a covenant?
      1. Words for covenant are: will, contract, testament, agreement.
      2. A covenant is an agreement by which parties bind themselves and each other to the fulfillment of certain conditions.
    2. When is a Covenant in force? It is enforced at death like a will (Hebrews 9: 17-18).
    3. He will be our God and we shall be His people.
      1. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples for all the earth is mine. (Exodus 19: 5)
      2. Hebrews 8: 10
  3. Everlasting Covenant
    1. Covenant concerning the flood. Genesis 9: 8-16 - The earth will never be destroyed by a flood again.
    2. God's Covenant with Abraham. Genesis 17: 7 - To be our God forever
    3. God's Covenant with Israel. 1 Chronicles 16: 15-17
    4. God's Covenant included the Gentile. Deuteronomy 29: 14-15
      1. ... I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49: 6,8)
      2. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60: 3)
      3. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is no other. (Isaiah 45: 22)
      4. In order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3: 14)
  4. God has a special place where He keeps His covenant.
    1. The Ark of His covenant. (Numbers 10: 33)
    2. The Ark in Heaven. And the temple of God which is in Heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple. (Revelation 11: 19)

The New Covenant

  1. Christ renews the covenant.
    1. The Bread and Wine represent His Body and Blood.
      Christ renewed the covenant with us while He was on earth. 1 Corinthians 11: 25.
      ... This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it in remembrance of Me.
    2. The promise of the covenant is passed on to the followers of Christ.
      1. We are all descendants of Abraham. (Galatians 3: 29)
        If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to the promise.
      2. The Gentiles now share in the covenant of promise because of Christ.
        But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall. (Ephesians 2: 11-14)
  2. The problem with the first covenant. The problem was with the people not the wording of the Covenant. The fault of the covenant was that it was not in the minds and hearts of the people.
    1. The Covenant Defines Sin. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said "All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient". (Exodus 24: 7)
    2. Obedience By works. While the covenant was just words that they heard, they worked to obey it when their hearts and minds were far from God.
    3. Our Hearts Want To Sin. For Christians, the saving grace is Christ's sacrifice to save each soul from it's own inner tendency toward sin.
    4. Change The Covenant Or The People? So this was the change that made the covenant new or better. The words of the covenant were not changed. The people were changed. The covenant was written on their minds and hearts. (Hebrews 8: 7-10)
  3. The new Covenant is made on better promises and a more reliable foundation. He is a better mediator because He is perfect and indestructible. The promises are better because they are written internally. God changed the people and the priest not the terms of the covenant.
    But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises (Hebrews 8: 6-10)
  4. Christ is our only mediator.
    1. Hebrews 9: 15-16; 4: 14-16; 13: 20-21
    2. For there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2: 5)
    3. Obedience by faith.

The Sign Of The Covenant
Just as God promises rest from sin, the Sabbath gives us rest from our work. On His death, even Jesus rested on the Sabbath and then rose on the first day of the week.
The Sign Of The Sabbath
On the first Sabbath, God rested from His works. When He died, Christ also rested from His works on the Sabbath. He was buried on Friday evening and rose on Sunday morning.
The Sabbath is a sign that God will give us rest from sin through His works.

  1. Criteria of a sign.
    1. Universal. It must be seen or experienced by the whole world.
    2. Must work for all mankind. It must mean the same thing everywhere.
    3. Tangible. It must be seen or experienced.
    4. Well Defined. The shape, appearance or boundaries are identifiable.
    5. Incorruptible. Its definition and meaning cannot change.
    6. Personal. It can be experienced individually.
  2. The Sabbath was to be a sign of the Covenant through out eternity.
    1. The Sabbath was a perpetual covenant. Exodus 31: 16
      So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
      Since Christians are heirs through Christ, they are part of Israel and part of this perpetual covenant.
    2. The Sabbath was given to the Gentiles.
      Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone who keeps from profaning the Sabbath and holds fast my covenant. Even those I will bring to My Holy Mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; for My house will be called an house of prayer for all peoples. (Isaiah 56: 6-7)
    3. The Sabbath was a sign of a relationship between God and His people. It shows that He sanctifies us.
      1. Ezekiel 20: 12,20. I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them ...
      2. Exodus 31: 13,17. ... You shall observe My Sabbaths, for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.
      The Signs In The Heavens
      In Genesis 1: 14 we see how God uses the sun and moon as seasons, days and years. But how are these lights used as signs?
      Sun Sabbath. It is the sign of His Covenant.
      Moon Moon. The church.
      Star Dark Day and Falling Stars. Sign of His Coming (Joel 2: 30-31; Matthew 24: 29; Revelation 6: 12-17).
      Rainbow Rainbow. He will not destroy the earth with water.
      When God makes us holy He numbers and names us (Revelation 14). When God made the Sabbath holy He numbered and named it. All the other days were numbered, but only the Sabbath was given a name.
    4. Does the Sabbath meet the criteria of a sign? "Yes". Instead of choosing a monument that can corrode, or cannot be seen universally, God chose time as His sign. He used the universal lights that can be seen everywhere to mark this time.
      Then God said, let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years. (Genesis 1: 14).
      1. Universal. The sun rises and sets on the whole earth. Every one sees the same sun in the sky.
      2. Must work for all mankind. All people experience sunrise and sunset and use this as a marker for a period of time.
      3. Tangible. The day in time is a real experience. We can see it coming and going. We live and move during its presence.
      4. Well Defined. It has always been the seventh day in a cycle of seven.
      5. Incorruptible. In six thousand years, the day has not changed. Other biological and constructed monuments fade and lose their meaning, but the sun rises and sets continually every twenty four hours.
      6. Personal. It is a day for individuals to stop working and meet their God.
  3. The Sabbath is still in force today.
    1. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles. Look at what he had to say.
      1. Acts 13: 42,44,48. ... The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord ...
      2. Acts 16: 12-13 ... On the Sabbath day ... we began preaching to the women who had assembled.
      3. Acts 17: 2,17 And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the scriptures. ... So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.
      4. Acts 18: 4. And he reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
    2. The Sabbath will be kept in heaven because it is a perpetual covenant.
      ... from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me ... (Isaiah 66: 22-23)
  4. The Sabbath is still the sign of the Covenant.
    1. The Sabbath is given to the people of God.
      1. Isaiah 58: 13-14
      2. Hebrews 4: 9. "It is therefore the duty of the people of God to keep the Sabbath." [The Modern New Testament from the Aramaic]
    2. It represents a close relationship with the Lord.
      1. Christ's close relationship with the Father.
        And He said, "ABBA, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me, nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." (Mark 14: 36)
      2. Father's name is in the heart of the Sabbath. (Hebrews 8: 10)

Date And Time Stamped In Blood
In Judaism, a sign of the covenant was circumcision. All Jewish males were to participate but the sign was aimed at one Jewish Man. It was only when Jesus was cut off and buried, like a circumcision, that the world would have rest. However, after the death of Jesus the world is still plagued by sin. So God gave the entire world another sign of this rest from sin that preceeded circumcision. It is the Sabbath.
So the original covenant promise indicates a time period for the contract. We will have rest "in the seventh", not in the first or the eighth. Circumcision is the secondary sign that the contract was signed in blood. The covenant may be a prophecy that we will have rest in the seventh period of time and every Sabbath until then we anticipate this millennial Sabbath.

Sunday Keeping Arguments
Finding no explicit commandment to change the Sabbath, people began to look for circumstantial evidence that the Sabbath was changed.

Sun Biblical Sunday Arguments. There are eight texts in the New Testament that mention the first day of the week. These are the arguments used to justify keeping Sunday. Notice that in these examples that there is no reference or explicit command to change the Sabbath.

Sun Biblical Sabbath Arguments. Some arguments are designed to show the importance of Sunday, while others are intended to diminish the importance of Sabbath. Some of the issues in this section are discussed in other lessons such as "What was nailed to the cross?".

Sun Other Arguments. Others propose arguments based on errors and changes in the calendar. All calendar changes affected the length of the year or the month. None of them changed the weekly cycle. The French experimented with a calendar that changed the week from seven days to ten days, but after three years they changed back to the global calendars. If any of their arguments are true, then that means that Sunday is also tainted.

Sun Sabbaths In Heaven
Lines | Arrow International Date Line(180º) Prime Meridian (0º)Arrow |   Jerusalem Time Arrow Jerusalem Time-Date Line (45º) |
Longitude180º 150ºW 120ºW 90ºW 60ºW30ºW 30ºE 45ºE60ºE 90ºE 120ºE 150ºE 180º
Hour-12 -11 -10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2 -10SabbathFriday6Sun89101112
Continent Pacific
Islands
Hawaii North America Greenland Europe Middle
East
Russia, China Australia
Alaska South America Africa India SE Asia Pacific
Critics argue that Sabbath concept is irrelevant since places at the north and south pole do not experience day or night in any meaningful cycle. Their argument ignores what will occur in the new earth.

Sun Lunar Sabbaths.
The Lunar Sabbath
123456Sabbath
----- - New moon1First crescent
234567 First quarter8 -
91011121314 Full moon15-
161718192021 Last quarter22-
232425262728 -2930
This is a brand new teaching that says the Sabbath is determined by the phases of the moon, not a weekly cycle of seven days. Some groups claim that the Sabbath occurs on Day (7, 14, 21, 28) with day 29 and 30 left over. Others claim that the Sabbaths are on day (8, 15, 22, 29) with day 30 and 1 left over. This confusion causes the Sabbath to fall on any day of the week and leaves two to three days left over at the end. The groups vary on what to do with these extra days.

Sun The Purpose Of Sunday.
The fact is that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the day when God separated darkness from the light and brought light into the world. But during that same creation week, He did not choose to celebrate that event. Neither did He choose to celebrate on the sixth day when man was created and all His work was finished. Instead, He chose to create another day specifically to rest and celebrate what had been accomplished that week. He created the seventh day and blessed and named the Sabbath as the day that He rested from His works of Creation.
In the same manner, Christ finished His works of recreation during one extraordinary week and rested on Sabbath.

Creation Week
-SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday Friday Saturday
Event Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5 Day 6 Sabbath
Creation LightWaterEarth, FoodSun, Moon, StarsFish, Birds Animals and Man Rest
Christ Jesus Confirms the Covenant for One Week Seder Crucifixion Buried
New Creation Resurrection Holy SpiritWord of GodProphetsEnemies Gather TestingRest
Pentecost The Law is Being Written in Our New HeartsNew Body Millennium
Symbols Baptism Fasting, Prayer and Bible Study Bread, Wine Baptism

All indications are that Sunday begins the final steps of our salvation which involve the Holy Spirit writing the laws into our hearts. Our transformation will be complete when we receive our new bodies and will culminate in the biggest Sabbath celebration of all during the millennium.

Atom Salvation Science: The Sabbath In Nature
Hydrogen is the workhorse of creation. The seven periods (rows) of the Periodic Table of chemistry show which elements were made each day. Through a process of nucleosynthesis by burning hydrogen, each of the elements of each period were made on that day of creation. The process even produces light until the middle of the fourth period. So on the fourth day God created the sun and moon to provide light from another source!
On the seventh day the elements reflect the dynamics of the creation. All the elements are radioactive, leaving them in an unstable state where they seek rest. So even in the scientific world, nature testifies that it is impossible to change the Sabbath day from the seventh to the first day of the week just as it is impossible to change the seventh period to the first! Uranium is not hydrogen. The radioactive elements release alpha particles (hydrogen) as they stablize providing the particles used to begin the cycle. So nature models the weekly cycle.

The Sabbath In Prophecy
The First Sunday Law
Let all judges and all city people and all tradesmen rest upon the venerable day of the sun. But let those dwelling in the country freely and with full liberty attend to the culture of their fields; since it frequently happens that no other day is so fit for the sowing of grain, or the planting of vines; hence, the favorable time should not be allowed to pass, lest the provisions of heaven be lost.
Edict of March 7, 321 AD. Corpus Juris Civilis Cod., lib. 3, tit. 12, Lex. 3.
History of the change
The Sabbath appears in several prophecies.

The New Covenant And The Law
... Look, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. (Hebrews 8: 8)
Who Are The Sons of Israel? Everyone who accepts Christ belongs to Israel. So if the new covenant was made with the house of Israel there is not a separate old covenant for Israel and a new covenant for Christians.
If you belong to Christ, then you are descendants of Abraham and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3: 29)

The Hebrew word for seven means oath. So the seventh (Sabbath day) is the oath day. The day God made His promise to give us rest. Rest from sin. It was a Holy time that commemorated two events.

  1. Sanctification. Also I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. (Ezekiel 20: 12)
    He gave us rest from sin and death by resting in the grave on the Sabbath as our substitute.
  2. Creation. Speaking of the fourth commandment God says that it is a sign that will last forever.
    "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he ceased from labor and was refreshed". (Exodus 31: 17)
    It commemorates our creation and is a sign that He can also recreate us again.

The new covenant writes the law in our heart instead of on tables of stone. It does not abolish the law. It makes it more permanent in us.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their minds and write it on the hearts. And I will be their God and they shall be My people". (Hebrews 8: 10)

The Eternal Laws Of God
In contrast the Bible says the following about God and the permanent nature of His laws.

Keeping The Sabbath
The Sabbath commandment invites us to spend the day with God as a part of a global special time created for this purpose. Resting on that day reminds us that God gives us rest from sin through His own works, not ours. It is a gift from God.
The Lord's Day. Jesus said to them, "the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. So the son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath". (Mark 2: 27-28)

History Of Sabbath Keeping
Sabbath Existed 132-135 Split 321-788 Time of the End New
Earth
Creation Ark
Flood
Babel Abraham Exodus Christ Disciples Bar Kokaba Sunday Laws Light Today
Sabbath SunRome's Sunday Christians Split Split Sunday Keeping Christians
No Jews Existed Jews (Israel) Jews and ChristiansSplit Sabbath Keeping Jews and Christians
One Language Many Languages
The history of the church provides circumstantial and documentary evidence that the Sabbath was changed by man without the approval of God. After the Bar Kokaba revolution the Christians tried to separate themselves from the Jews and Sunday began to be promoted until the church and the state made laws to enforce its keeping.

The work of Dr. William Meade Jones (1818-1895), a Seventh-day Baptist, shows that the universal nature of the concept of a seventh day of Sabbath rest can be seen in the use of the same sound to define a day of the week in many ancient and modern languages not connected to either Rome or Israel or the predominant religion in that culture. He reasoned that the concept of a seven day week and the naming of a Sabbath should have been passed down from Adam and Eve and so to all ethnic groups even if they practiced idolatry. According to Dr. Meade no other language designates another day of the week as a day of rest.
Long before the Babylonians invaded Israel, "Sabatu" was the name for the seventh day of the week.
In the following list some languages add the word for "day" or "the" to the word for Sabbath (eg di (French) and yom), but the Sabbath sound should be quite obvious.
Babel Family Branch Languages
Shem
(Middle East)
Afro-Asiatic Semitic Hebrew (Shabbath) Arabic (Assabt) Abyssinian (Sanbat) Maltese (Is-sibt) Ge'ez/ Ethiopic (San-bat)
Semitic
(Ancient)
Arabic (Shi-yar) Ancient Syriac (Shab-ba-tho) Chaldee Syriac (Shaptu) Babylonian Syriac (Sa-Ba-tu)
Chadic Hausa (Assebatu) Logone (Se-sibde)
Berber Kabyle (Ghas assebt) Tamashek (A-hal es-sabt)
Cushitic Orma (Zam-ba-da)
Egyptian Coptic (Pi sabbaton)
Ham
(Africa And Asia)
Nilo-Saharan
(Central Sudanic)
Bongo-Bagirmi Bagrimma (Sibbedi)
Saharan Teda (Essebdu) Bornu (Assebdu)
Maban Maba (Sab)
Niger-Congo Bantu Ndebele (Sabatha) Shona (Sabata) Swahili (As-sabt)
Senegambian Wolof (Alere-Asser) Mandingo (Sibiti)
? Congo (Sabbado) or (Kiansbula)
Austronesian ? Malay (Ari-Sabtu)
Malayo-Polynesian Malagassy (Alsabotsy) Malayan (Hari sabtu) Javanese (Saptoe or saptu) Makassar (Sattu)
Bornean Dayak (Sabtu)
Japheth
(Europe And India)
Indo-European Latin
(Sabbatum)
Italian (Sabbato) Spanish (Sábado) Portuguese (Sábado, Sabbado)
Wallachian (Sambata) Roman (Dissapte)
French (Samedi) D'oc French (Dissata) Norman French (Sabbedi)
Notice how the older versions of French are closer to the Sabbath sound.
Germanic High German (Samstag)
Hellenic Greek (Sabbaton) (Sávato)
Armenian Armenian (Shapat)
Indic Hindustani/Urdu (Shamba)
Indo-Iranian Pashto (Shamba) Pasto (Shamba) Persian (Shambin) Pahlivi (Shambid) Persian (Shambah) Kurdish (Shamba)
Balto-Slavic Prussian (Sabatico) Russian (Subbota) Polish (Sobota) New Slovenian (Sobota) Illyrian (Subota) Lusatian/Sorbian (Sobota) Bohemian/Czech (Sobota) Bulgarian (Subbota)
Kartvelian
(South Caucasian)
? Suanian/Svaneti (Sammtyn)
Proto-Zan Georgian (Shabati)
Northeast Caucasian Nakh Ingoush (Shatt)
Uralic Permic Permian (Subota)
Finnic Votiak (Subbota)
Altaic ? Turkish (Yomessabt)
Turkic ? Osmanlian (Yome-es-sabt) Kazani/Tartar (Subbota)
Through colonialism Western Europe changed the native language of the American Continent and Australia.
So the world, not connected to Judaism, had a concept of the seventh day of the week in their native language as being a day of rest and this day was called by the same sound "Shabbat".

Did It Change? There is no commandment given by Jesus or the disciples to change the commandment. Even if there was the slightest possibility that the correct day was somehow lost, doing our best to follow God would be honoring the day the Jews have faithfully kept as the Sabbath - Saturday.

Obedience Is The Issue.
The real issue is, will we worship God in the manner He prescribes or will we substitute our own way?

Cain and Abel both brought sacrifices to God, but only Abel's was accepted. Cain gave his best, but he gave what he wanted to give, not what God had asked for. Fruits and vegetables could not demonstrate the horrible consequences of sin. Only the death of the innocent lamb could do so.

In the end, the beast of Revelation will pronounce the death sentence on those who do not worship him but who worship in the way God commands. Just like Cain killed his brother for obeying God.

The Sabbath Test.
So it will end the way it began, with a simple test. For anyone who would criticize Eve, God gives them their own choice.
Just as a simple fruit was a test to Adam and Eve, so will the Sabbath be a simple test of obedience to God in the end. Unlike other sins which might include a physical craving to commit that sin, the Sabbath has no such pressure. We cannot claim that we have no will power, or that it was physically or mentally hard to follow. In fact, God can demonstrate that the wicked will not even obey a simple commandment designed to make them rest and give them pleasure and improve all their relationships.

Adam and Eve had many fruits to choose from but they had to have this one.
God gives us six days of our own and asks for this one. We think we can have it too.

Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2: 15 Time: 70 minutes
Print: 20 pages
Copyright     Updated : August 18, 2004. September 2009.
Credits:
Information on the covenant was found at the wordsight web site. URL: www.wordsight.org
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)
The True Sabbath Found in The Languages of The World. Dr. William Meade Jones. URL: http://www.angelfire.com/la2/prophet1/sabbath2.html